Insanely Alive
by Wolfgang Tillmans

Writers - Tillmans/Knapp/Breitzke (but the PSB Maxi Mix may be credited to Tillmans/Knapp/Breitzke/Tennant/Lowe)
First released - 2021
Original album - Moon in Earthlight (Tillmans)
Producers - Wolfgang Tillmans, Tim Knapp, and Bruno Breitzke
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - The "Moon in Earthlight" single

Neil and Chris had commissioned German artist Wolfgang Tillmans, best known as a photographer, to create the video for their 2002 single "Home and Dry." (As it turns out, this video proved somewhat controversial among fans because it focused not on the Pet Shop Boys or on any sort of "narrative" but rather simply on mice scurrying about in the London subway.) It was also Tillmans who had suggested to them the title Release for the album from which that single came, and he further provided the cover photograph for their Disco 3 album.

By the mid-2010s Tillmans had begun delving into electronic music creation himself, releasing a number of EPs, albums, singles, and remixes on Bandcamp and in other digital formats. In 2021 he released his first full-fledged physical album, Moon in Earthlight, which shares its title with that of a concurrent museum exhibition of his photos. So in light of these musical endeavors, it's not very surprising that the Boys would conduct a fair-play turnabout by remixing for single release "Insanely Alive," a track from that album. The single, featuring two PSB remixes (a "radio edit" and a "maxi mix")—both of which feature Neil on background vocals—was released on May 20, 2022.

It's worth noting that, although the songwriting credits of the original song are to Wolfgang Tillmans, Tim Knapp, and Bruno Breitzke, the PSB Maxi Mix (but, curiously, not their Radio Edit) appears to add Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe to the list. If this is accurate, it would obviously indicate that our musical heroes' contributions, at least to that longer remix, were deemed substantial enough to grant them co-compositional credits.

Also very much worth noting is that, as revealed in Annually 2023, the Boys contributed to another, earlier song by Tillmans titled "Make It Up As You Go Along." As Chris stated, "We didn't really remix it. We put a drum loop on it," to which Neil replied, "I think you sped it up too." This alternate version of "Make It Up As You Go Along" has never been released, however, but was made exclusively for Chris and Neil to play on Berlin radio during a program they hosted on October 23, 2016. Whether this additional PSB-Tillmans collaboration will ever resurface for public consumption remains to be seen.


Officially released

Pet Shop Boys mixes only:

List cross-references